Dark humour and harsh realities were on show as major shipowners digested the potential of returning vessels to the southern Red Sea at the TradeWinds Shipowners Forum in New York.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been attacking vessels with missiles, rockets and drones since before Christmas, causing havoc in one of the world’s key shipping lanes.

“Who here hasn’t been shot at?” asked Anthony Gurnee, chief executive of Ardmore Shipping, during a panel discussion about geopolitical risks on Wednesday.